RAIFFEISENBANK BULGARIA

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1 RAIFFEISENBANK BULGARIA IT thought leader chooses EMC XtremIO and VMware for groundbreaking VDI project OVERVIEW ESSENTIALS Industry Financial services Company Size Over 3,000 employees, assets of approximately US $4.4 billion Business Challenges Productivity was often impacted due to broken legacy desktops and wait time for replacement parts Rolling updates were impossible due to multiple operating systems Repairs, upgrades, and lost productivity presented significant hard and soft costs to the bank Employee mobility was impacted because setting up a new access point was timeconsuming and expensive Solution EMC XtremIO all-flash array Established in 1994, Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria the fourth-largest bank in the country provides a full range of banking products and services to large corporate customers, small and medium-sized enterprises, retail clients, and institutional clients. Over 3,000 employees serve more than 730,000 customers through a network of 188 branches. Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria is a 100 percent subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), headquartered in Austria. As a thought leader in the IT space, Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria recently deployed EMC XtremIO and VMware vsphere to power its innovative VDI environment. BUSINESS CHALLENGES According to Valentin Milanov, Director of IT Operations at Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, there were compelling reasons to implement desktop virtualization. For one thing, our desktop infrastructure was quite old, he explains. This became difficult to manage because parts like power supplies, fans, memory, and hard drives would fail fairly often. And because users stored a lot of information locally on their desktops, when a hard drive broke, the information was gone. Software requirements provided additional motivation. Because Raiffeisenbank s previous operating system was no longer supported, the bank migrated to Windows 7 as soon as possible for security reasons. But when Milanov and his team analyzed the desktop hardware, they found that most of it was incompatible with the new operating system. That meant they needed a massive hardware upgrade, and they knew that the same thing would happen again in a few years. We decided to go with a more futuristic vision and replace desktops with thin clients, which have a much longer lifespan, says Milanov. With VDI we can solve the security issues, the hardware issues, and the space issues and at the same time, we also improve the user experience. SOLUTION VDI was a new opportunity at Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria. In the beginning it was quite new for us, says Milanov. We didn't know about flash storage, because in Bulgaria no other companies were using it. The bank needed to find enough space to hold all of its user data, but the existing infrastructure was nearly out of free space and the power and cooling capacities were near the limits. CUSTOMER PROFILE

2 Results Provided a VDI user experience that has been 100 percent positive Achieved greater space efficiency due to inline deduplication ratio of approximately 13:1 Enabled virtual desktops to be provisioned in less than an hour, as compared to several days for a traditional desktop We saw that going to flash storage was the way to fix our problems with space, cooling, and power, while responding to our storage capacity requirements with deduplication. The bank invited three flash storage vendors EMC, Tintri, and Pure Storage to participate in a proof of concept, using real applications in the real environment. The same load and performance tests were run on the three boxes in parallel, and XtremIO was clearly the best solution. The proof of concept testing was extreme. We were desperately trying to break XtremIO, recalls Milanov. The bank removed disks, controllers, and power to see what would happen and how such failures might affect the performance. It also disconnected one controller live, just to see if the users would feel anything. The bank removed hard drives from the cage to see how the data would move, and if the latency and performance would stay the same. It even disconnected the power. Everything was fine, says Milanov. We absolutely could not break XtremIO. Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria currently has two X-bricks (the basic component of XtremIO) in the main data center and one in the backup data center. It was really impressive with its sub-millisecond latency and high deduplication ratio, and it was quite easy to install, configure, and manage. In addition, XtremIO saves a lot of space for us with its small footprint. We are very pleased with XtremIO, says Milanov. NOT MY DESKTOP Once IT had bought in to the concept of VDI, the team then had to address some initial resistance from the users. They considered their computers as something of their own, says Milanov. When we wanted to replace the big desktop with a small box, they said, What is this? The perception was that this was a degradation to the organization. To address this resistance, Milanov organized workshops with representatives of the users from all business departments and branches to explain exactly what was going to happen and how the whole process would go. By clearly presenting the benefits of thin clients and virtualization, IT Operations ensured that users were prepared for the change. The results have been even better than expected. From our branch users, who are all over the country, there is 100 percent positive feedback, says Milanov. They are quite happy that it is faster. And if something happens, for example, if the electricity goes down, they have lost nothing. Everything is in the data center, and when the power is restored they can log on and see the screen exactly as they left it. Employees also benefit from increased collaboration. In the past they would have to configure a new access point with each move. Now they can start their own virtual desktop from any point of the country, which makes them more flexible and mobile. VMWARE AND XTREMIO VMware is a critical component in the new VDI environment at Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria. The bank has used VMware for server virtualization for around seven years, and they are quite pleased with it. For the VDI project, they conducted a proof of concept with Citrix and Microsoft as well, in accordance with internal procurement procedures.

3 Recalls Milanov, We did not see the things we wanted to see in a fully virtualized infrastructure with Citrix and Microsoft something always was not working or more had to be done. But VMware consistently performed very well. That's why we decided to go with VMware, because we saw that everything was working and we already had experience with the server virtualization. It was the best choice for us. Before VDI, installation and configuration of desktops by the desktop administrators group would take at least a day. If they had to travel to a remote site, there could easily be an additional delay of a day or two. And if they had to actually purchase the unit, the process would take longer still. With a thin client, setting up a desktop takes less than an hour and that includes educating the user how to log on remotely. The process is now quick and painless. Milanov reports that the storage administrators are very happy with the integrated management between VMware and XtremIO. It's quite easy to provision the VMware host in just a minute, he says. Administrators are also happy with the management console, because they can manage XtremIO from VMware vcenter. Also they are using the management console to check performance and monitor the data, including the deduplication ratio. Having seen how XtremIO works with the Microsoft SQL Server database servers in the bank s new VDI infrastructure, Milanov expects to bring more applications on board in the future. The Lotus mail servers have already been moved to XtremIO; even so, the bank is still using only around 50 percent of the available storage capacity of XtremIO. With VMware and XtremIO, we are confident that our VDI environment is best in class and will continue to serve us very well. Valentin Milanov Head of IT Operations Department, Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria TECH SPECS Inline deduplication, a key feature of XtremIO, is very important to the bank. We have a lot of duplicated data, so this functionality is really heaven-sent for us, says Milanov. In particular, the user data in the Lotus mailboxes caused a lot of duplication. With XtremIO, we now have a deduplication ratio of 12 or 13 to one. It will change as we continue to refine our infrastructure, but I don t believe it will go lower than 10, and that is quite enough for us. The bank uses full clones to optimize the deduplication benefits. Another important feature of XtremIO is the sub-millisecond response time. We didn't know this was so critical at first, says Milanov. But when we started to do some tests for example, logging onto 200 virtual desktops at one time, or scanning them with antivirus software we saw that low latency is really crucial for us. In the morning, when almost 3,000 users come to work and log in, if the latency is not less than a millisecond, they would start to feel the delay. XtremIO fully satisfies our need for fast response.

4 Other features of XtremIO that have proven their value at Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria include: Scale-out architecture: XtremIO provides the bank with very good scale in a tiny data center footprint, enabling it to save a lot of space, electricity, and cooling power. These savings were crucial for the bank because it was already over the limits of its backup data center. The small footprint of the storage is not affecting the performance of the system. And even better, XtremIO has the best performance compared with all other storage systems that the bank utilizes. Persistent virtual desktops: Currently, Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria uses a combination of persistent and non-persistent virtual desktops. Some of the bank s users need to have special configurations, software, and firewall rules, and persistent desktops enable the bank to cover these requirements. For the rest of the users, the bank uses non-persistent virtual desktops. This combination requires more storage space, but with XtremIO features like in-line deduplication and compression, the bank does not worry about it. Space-efficient snapshots: Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria is not currently using snapshots. Snapshots are available with the latest firmware of XtremIO, which the bank has installed at its backup data center. The next step is to upgrade XtremIO in the bank s main data center and then use the snapshotting capability. For thin provisioning, the bank mainly uses XtremIO for VMware ESXi hosts and leaves it to OS default behavior. Other hosts use Windows 2012 R2 which automatically reclaims freed space. THE EMC BRAND Financial services institutions are known for being conservative when it comes to adopting new technology, and Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria is no exception to the rule. One of the main reasons that I really wanted to have XtremIO over and above the performance and the other technical features we ve discussed is that EMC stands behind XtremIO, says Milanov. The company has a good local presence here, and we are quite happy with its support. We know that we can count on EMC completely. Of course, this confidence also extends to RSA and VMware. In summary, Milanov reviews the key benefits that Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria has realized with VMware and XtremIO in the new VDI environment. We removed the old desktop infrastructure, which was causing us a lot of trouble, he says. We replaced it with a new technology that is fast, good, centralized, and easy to manage. We see significant benefits in terms of space, cooling, and power in the data center. From the security perspective we are also covered, because we are up to date with our Windows platform and the software that we are using; previously, it was not possible to update to the latest software versions because of the legacy hardware. For the end users, Milanov says that workers are benefiting from a higher quality work environment. Our users are no longer using old desktops which are dusty and noisy, so everything now is clean and quiet for them. Users don't have any more broken parts, so they do not need to wait several days for replacements. They can work from any place they want; they can move around, and this does not affect their job. With XtremIO and VDI, workers are able to be more collaborative and efficient, and the bank saves money. In addition, it is no longer necessary to buy replacement parts and desktops, or upgrade the desktops annually to meet new software requirements.

5 As the first member of Raiffeisen Bank International to leverage VMware and XtremIO for desktop virtualization and one of the first banks in the region to do so Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria has clearly established itself as a thought leader in the innovative use of new technology. The new VDI environment is already serving as a model for similar projects undertaken across the RBI enterprise. Desktop virtualization has created a much more efficient, pleasant, and cost-effective workplace for our users, and it has relieved the stress we were feeling due to our data center limitations, concludes Milanov. With VMware and XtremIO, we are confident that our VDI environment is best-in-class and will continue to serve us very well. CONTACT US To learn more about how EMC products, services, and solutions can help solve your business and IT challenges, contact your local representative or authorized reseller, visit or explore and compare products in the EMC Store. EMC 2, EMC, the EMC logo, and XtremIO are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. VMware, vcenter, and vsphere are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc., in the United States and other jurisdictions. Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Published in the USA. 02/15 Customer Profile H13944 EMC believes the information in this document is accurate as of its publication date. The information is subject to change without notice.

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